Developing a conceptual framework for visually-enabled geocollaboration

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Most work with geospatial data, whether for scientific analysis, urban and environmental planning, or business decision making is carried out by groups. In contrast, geographic information technologies have been built and assessed only for use by individuals. In this paper we argue that, to support collaboration with geospatial information, specific attention must be given to tools that mediate understanding and support negotiation among participants. In addition, we contend that visual representations have a particularly important role to play as mediators of geocollaborative activities. With these contentions as a starting point, we present a framework for study of visually-enabled collaboration with geospatial information and for development, implementation, and assessment of geoinformation technologies that support that collaboration. The paper concludes with a brief description of two prototype geocollaborative environments that illustrate the use of the framework developed and provide the basis for discussing goals for futher research.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: GeoVISTA Center Department of Geography 302 Walker Penn State University University Park PA 16802 USA, Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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